Prospecting Johnny Manziel – Hold or Sell the Hottest Rookie in the NFL?

There is no doubt that Johnny Manziel has an effect on both fans and collectors. I have never made it a point to watch a pre-season game that doesnt have my favorite team playing in it. Last night, that all changed when I actually DVRed the Cleveland vs Detroit game just to see how Johnny Manziel did. I am going to guess and say it was the highest rated game of this type in NFL Network history. Manziel is just that type of guy, very similar to when Tim Tebow came to the league. The difference is that Manziel can actually play QB, where Tebow was a running back who just happened to throw passes every once in a while.

Manziel is easily the hottest rookie we have seen in a long time:

2014 Panini VIP Party Johnny Manziel Superfractor Auto

2014 Inception Johnny Manziel Laundry Tag Booklet Auto /5

2014 Elite Johnny Manziel Red Ink Inscription Auto BGS 9.5

2014 Inception Johnny Manziel Jumbo Patch Auto /25

The Browns have already announced that come the next pre-season game, Manziel will be starting, and I am going to go out on a limb and say that he will likely also start week 1. He is a captivating personality and polarizing figure, which means that it is stupid not to play him whenever possible. Fans have already made his jersey the top seller in the league, and collectors are tripping over each other to pick up his cards.

For a lot of us who arent Manziel fans, it becomes a game of when to sell. For the fans out there, its a question of whether or not to buy without much frame of reference for his play. Here are my thoughts on both:

Selling Manziel

I am always someone who will advise to sell a brand new product as soon as it comes out. Football is weird in that cards can drop almost 50% in value over the course of one week. Once the team and player collectors get their licks, the bottom drops out. Manziel’s rarer cards have been able to hold value in Bowman, but in every Panini product, his cards rarely hold their top flight value. The jury is still out on inception, but its likely that it will follow suit.

Outside of selling new product cards quickly, you will have two options to sell in the future and I would take advantage of at least one. The first is when he is named the starter, sometime around pre-season week 3. At that point, everyone will want to gear up for the start of the season, and you will want to capitalize.

The second point is when the season starts and he has his first good game. The initial Browns’ schedule is pretty brutal, so Manziel may struggle at first. On the other hand, he may play well along the way, which could be a great time to sell. Ideally, you have your cards up and get some bandwagon fans to buy in as soon as he throws or scores his first TD.

Keeping Manziel

There are a large contingent of collectors who think Manziel is the next big thing. Although I disagree, anything is possible in the NFL. I was definitely not sold on Cam Newton, and he has turned into a surprise QB that can actually play. Collectors seem to think he is going to help Carolina get to the big game, which helps the value already brought from being a heisman winner and #1 pick. I personally think Manziel will be a starter in Cleveland for the duration of his rookie contract. I dont think he is going to be a guy who will eventually get a 100 million re-up unless he blows the roof off the joint, but I do think he has potential to play into a second deal, something that Tebow was never able to do.

That being said, do you want to spend hundreds or thousands on a guy who may just keep going long enough to make it to a second contract? Im not sure. The personality and polarization of the collector base on Manziel’s prospects may keep his value higher until he solidifies whether or not he is going to be good, but many non-Browns fans may not be willing to wait that long.

I have pulled two big Manziel autos this year already and have opted to sell immediately due to hot product bumps in value. At this point I have no reservations about doing so, even after last night’s game.

4 thoughts on “Prospecting Johnny Manziel – Hold or Sell the Hottest Rookie in the NFL?

  1. Interested to see how he does with the first team line & WRs. Personally, I don’t really care one way or the other how he does but I did watch that game. Some of his passes were some damn good darts, thrown on slants and some tougher routes that require extreme accuracy that many young QBs struggle with. In general, and there’s not much to go on at this point, I actually really liked what I saw. He seemed to understand limitations and, when he had to run, he made sure he just got where he needed to and didn’t take unnecessary hits trying to gain an extra yard. The commentators on the local station mentioned that the only concern coaches had with his passing was his hesitancy. He was being overly cautious and costing himself completions by waiting until the WRs were late in their breaks.

  2. Since being a full time football card collector since 1989, I have seen way too many hyped players that the Browns picked become complete has-beens within three years or so after their rookie seasons. Steeler fans- like a friend of mine refer to it as “The Curse”.
    I don’t see Manziel being an NFL QB at all in three years. I could be wrong, but there’ NO WAY I’d take the chance. That’s nothing more than blind gambling in my opinion. After everything I’ve learned from this hobby after 27-years is to <<<>>> believe the hype and stick to buying based on players that have proven they can play in the NFL and with the team they are currently with. Those two factors have a list of failed players to successful ones that’s at least 20:1.
    I also don’t get collectors paying big money for rookie patch cards that were never used in an NFL game. These Rookie Premiere items are practically worthless in this experts mind. Most players just throw the items on for a second take it off, then put another one of and so on. These are NOT Event-Used items either!!! Would I prefer to have a nice patch/On Card auto RC card for a similar price to just an On Card autograph RC card? Yes. But ONLY if the prices are similar (no more than 20% higher than a plain On Card autographed card).
    As for Sticker Rookie Autograph cards. WHY ARE COLLECTORS STILL BUYING STICKER AUTOGRAPHS WHEN THE PRICES ON THOSE ALWAYS COME DOWN FASTER & MORE PERMANENTLY THAN ANY ON CARD AUTOGRAPHS? For several years now it’s been made clear in the secondary market that On Card Autographs are worth at least 25% MORE than sticker autographs of very similar cards. Yet right out of the gate collectors will pay just as much for sticker autographs before all the On Card autograph products are released. Then they wonder why their sticker autograph sells for so much less than On Card versions towards the end of the NFL season. Sticker autos are UGLY, they FORCE players to shrink their autographs (which in many cases cause players to sign smaller on future On Card autos), many players can’t keep their autograph on ONE sticker which makes them even uglier, and if the COA statement on the back of a sticker autograph card states “You have received an autographed card”: the COA is null & void because it is NOT AN AUTOGRAPHED CARD!!!
    Wake up people PLEASE! I’m trying to help you. Otherwise you are sheep doing exactly what the card companies and Beckett want you to do. As long as you keep doing that, card companies won’t be forced to improve and Beckett looks good to the card companies that pay them off (in advertising dollars) to be it’s main promoter.

  3. Sell sell sell. he’s terrible. most overhyped/overrated player since The Boz.

    Get rid of them before the season starts, before everyone realizes he can’t play the NFL game.

  4. Pingback: Around the Carding Blogosphere for August 15, 2014 : The Baseball Card Store

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *